Obama Asks Students to Urge Congress to Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Down
President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Washington-Lee High School that was designed to pressure Congress to keep student loan interest rates down. He spoke before 1,000 junior and senior high school students, parents, teachers, and local officials. According to statistics, almost 94 percent of Washington-Lee students continue their education after graduation.
President Obama also talked about the economy before he talked about the costs of college education. He said that the student loan interest rate cut will expire on July 1. That means the rates will double overnight unless Congress acts on it. The crowd answered with loud boos.
House Republicans said that they will only extend the student loan interest rate cut if they can cut things such as preventative health care for women. The president said that the nation doesn’t have to choose between the two and he was cheered by the crowd.
President Barack Obama had to pause for several moments for the applause and laughter of the crowd. He emphasized that he’s in favor of making higher education affordable for everyone as he tries to rebuild the economy.
He said that he also struggled with his student loan debt. He confessed that he and the first lady just completed the payment of their student loans eight years ago. The first couple graduated from college with loads of student debt that they were still paying off even when they were already starting to save up for their children’s education.
The president said that when they got married, they became poor together. He added that they got to where they are today because of scholarships and student loans. He said that Americans today owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards. Obama told the students present to call, email tweet and post of Facebook to get the message to Congress.